Date ArticleType
4/20/2016 Member News
Actor Paul Sorvino to Host Charity Gala at Jon Hair Monumental Sculpture

April 20, 2016
For Immediate Release, Please
Contact: John Collins, 727.518.5142 [email protected]

World Famous Sculptor Opens New Workspace and Gallery in St. Petersburg With Benefit for St. Petersburg Arts Alliance

Jon Hair is the coolest dude you've never met. But we want to fix that, and we’re bringing someone just as cool to do it. Hair is one of the world’s most recognized monumental sculptors. On April 28, he is throwing a party with old friend, actor Paul Sorvino, to commemorate the opening of his new workspace and display studio in St. Petersburg. The event will be free, though donations will be solicited to benefit the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, a not for profit agency whose mission is to
serve the arts and cultural community; advocate for the arts; facilitate the growth of the arts community; and drive arts related economic development in St. Petersburg.

Formerly the official sculptor of the Olympics, Hair created the giant "Lucky 8" sculpture that opened the Beijing games, as well as the 3 story high Olympic Strength piece that graces the entrance of the US Olympic Team's training center in Colorado Springs. He has become the country's most successful monumental sculptor, having created works for more than 30 universities around the U.S., as well as sculpted commissions for entertainment luminaries like Ted Turner and Dick Van Dyke. He's currently working on one for the family of Mister (Fred) Rogers.

The prodigal son, who left St. Petersburg as a teenager and has returned as one of the most successful artists in the country, Hair has traversed an almost psychedelic journey through the last five decades, as if Hunter S. Thompson and Ringo Starr had a love child, with a side order of Warhol DNA. In the 1960s, he was a drummer for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Main Ingredient and was even sought by the Isley Brothers and Little Richard to be in their bands. He even did percussion arrangements for Simon & Garfunkel on their legendary “Bookends” album but that was barely his first act. In his 40s he decided he wanted to be a sculptor, but not some "modern" sculptor doing Avant garde installations. He wanted to do BIG sculpture or realistic figures in ways it hadn't been achieved in centuries, like a Michelangelo on acid. Anyone who comes to the party will see just how much size matters when it comes to monumental sculpture.

The gala will take place Thursday, April 28, 2016
7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Jon Hair Monumental Sculpture,
290 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N., Suite 100,
St. Petersburg, Florida 33705

About Paul Sorvino

Tall, dark and imposing American actor, Paul Sorvino, has made a solid career of portraying authority figures. He was born in Brooklyn, New York City. His mother, Angela (Renzi), was a piano teacher, of Italian descent. His father, Ford Sorvino, was an Italian immigrant who worked in a robe factory as a foreman. Paul originally had his heart set on a life as an opera singer. He was exposed to dramatic arts while studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He
furthered his studies with Sanford Meisner and eventually made his film debut in Where's Poppa? (1970). Sorvino suffered from severe asthma and he worked hard at mastering various breathing techniques to manage the illness. He wrote a bestselling book entitled "How to Become a Former Asthmatic". He also started the Sorvino Asthma Foundation based in New York City.

Sorvino has appeared in a variety of film, TV and theatrical productions over the last four decades. He received critical praise for his role in the Broadway play "That Championship Season", and played the role again in the 1981 film alongside Robert Mitchum and Martin Sheen. Other noteworthy performances during the 1980s and 1990s included a stressed-out police chief in Cruising (1980), Mike Hammer's cop buddy in “I, the Jury” (1982), "Lips Manlis" in Dick Tracy (1990) with James Caan and in a standout performance as mob patriarch "Paul Cicero" in the powerhouse “Goodfellas” (1990). Always keeping himself busy, Sorvino has performed in nearly 50 movies just in the past decade, including a dynamic and underappreciated portrayal of Henry Kissinger in “Nixon” (1995), as "Fulgencio Capulet" in the updated “Romeo and Juliet” (1996) and in the Las Vegas thriller “The Cooler” (2003). Sorvino is the proud father of Academy Award winning actress, Mira Sorvino.

About The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance
Communities need a breakthrough strategy for providing artists and nonprofit arts
organizations with critical operating support, and the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance has taken on that challenge. Founded in 2012, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance evolved from a shared desire among city and community leaders to make a serious investment in our local arts organizations, artists and creative businesses.

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is the only 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to raising money and advocating for our entire creative community – artists, arts and cultural organizations, and creative businesses. Money is raised through individual and corporate gifts, event sponsorships, and state and federal grants that support communitywide arts efforts.